I disagree with GA's post about Serbia, not the sentiment, but the content.
Let me explain. We all know that bombing civilian populations is wrong, and I for one agree with the sentiment expressed against the use of military force to force people into democracy for the benefit of corporate profit.
However, I for one am aware of the circumstances with regard to the former Yugoslavian Republics, because I was present in the country before during and after the death of Tito (Josip Broz), and if ever there was an advert against multicultural harmony then Yugoslavia was the perfect example.
People tend to forget that the ethnic groups in the Balkans have suffered under the yoke of Islam, Greece for example did not achieve independence until 1832. Yugoslavian film makers especially portrayed the suffering of the Serbs in their graphic films which portrayed the savage nature of the wars.
All of the protagonists were as bad as each other, rape, murder, child killing are common in all the Balkan Wars.
The Balkan Wars
In the interest of space I will omit the wars and massacres prior to the Balkan Wars.
The First Balkan War was fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Balkan League (Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro). It was fought just before the First World War in 1912/13 and was known for its savage nature, this continued into the World Wars.
In Pristina for example the Serbs were massacred by the Albanians (Ottomans) when they tried to surrender, then the Serbs massacred the Albanians when they retook the fortress.
The Second Balkan War was fought between Bulgaria and Serbia, Romania, Greece, Montenegro and the Ottoman Empire. It was fought with the same savagery of the first war.
The modern era has also shown that in a multicultural conflict all sides fight with little regard to law, although the Western Media, as we see in Syria, and many of us saw in Ulster continue to favour one side only.
The term total war is believed to have originated in World War One, but the origins of the concept of total war can be traced to antiquity. Modern examples include the Wars of French Revolution, the American Civil War (especially Sherman's march to the sea), and of course the world wars.
The definition of Total War is a war in which every available weapon is used and the nations full financial resources are devoted.
It is not for us to judge the conduct of those who have come before us, especially with the benefit of hindsight.
I know many people who fought in World War Two, one of them was a friends father in law who served as an SS soldier on the Eastern Front, another was my grandfather who fought as a Captain in North West Europe, as my great grandfather had done in the trenches of the First World War.
The three people had one thing in common, like millions of people like them they were ordinary. Ordinary people who lived and did extraordinary things in extraordinary times.
Some people are brave, others are not. You get hero's and coward's on every side. Some committed atrocities and others did not on every side, the rape of Nan-king is as awful as the US rape of Okinawa, but of course on a larger scale.
The bombing of civilians, even if the target is a military one is awful. Guernica, Coventry, Dresden, Nagasaki are names which are seared on the public consciousness.
But we must be careful not to judge the people who took part, how dare we be so arrogant! Instead we must commemorate the loss and console those who survived, and move forward in remembrance.
People do not start wars, politicians do, and people not politicians do the dying.